Downtown Historic District

Olympia, Washington

Blocks surrounding 4th Ave W @ Capitol Way

Washington's capital, Olympia, is much smaller and less dynamic than the state's biggest city - Seattle - is. One consequence is that much of Olympia's historic downtown core has remained intact.

Olympia marks the southern tip of Puget Sound; a northern spur of the Oregon Trail ended here. The city was named the territorial capital when Washington Territory was split off of Oregon in 1853. The city is also home to a number of firsts for Washington, including the first post office, port of entry, newspaper and public school.

One man, architect Joseph Wohleb, had much to do with the character of downtown Olympia. Between 1911 and 1958 he designed more than 100 buildings in the city. Others added their designs, and of course a number of surviving buildings date back to the 1800s. A walking tour of the historic district features 30 sites in all.

olympia downtown historic district

Downtown Historic District (O14A0440)

olympia downtown historic district

State Theater (O14A0441)
One of the newer buildings in the historic district, the State Theatre was built in 1949 in the International Style.

Nearby Sights

While you're in the area, check out these sights:

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